Topic: Army Rations
Confectionery in Army Rations (c. 1900)
Medical Record, published in the Journal of the Military Service Institute of the United States, Vol. XXVI., No. CV., May, 1900
The Germans about ten years ago [i.e., circa 1890] introduced the use of candy into the diet of their soldiers. The idea was the outcome of experiment undertaken by the German government. It was demonstrated that the addition of candy and chocolate to the regular ration greatly conduced to the improvement of health and endurance of the troops, and at the present time the army authorities in Germany issue cakes of chocolate and a limited amount of other confectionery. The British were the next to follow this example, and the queen, as has been extensively advertised, forwarded five hundred thousand pound of chocolate in half-pound packages as a Christmas treat for the soldiers in South Africa. Jam has also found great favor with the British War Office, and, 450,000 pounds have been dispatched to South Africa as a four months' supply to 116,000 troops. The United States is following in the same path, and candy has been added to the regular army ration of the American soldier. It is stated that one New York firm has shipped more than fifty tons of confectionery during the past year for the armies in the Philippines, Cuba, and Porto Rico. The candy supplied is of excellent quality, consisting of mixed chocolate creams lemon drops, cocoanut maroons, and acidulated fruit drops. These are packed in tins specially designed to fit the pockets of a uniform coat. The question of providing jam with the army ration is also under consideration.